No matter your age, at some point you need to learn to study to improve your academic performance. Whether you’re a college student preparing for finals, a 4th grader taking the ISEE, or anywhere in between, studying is a critical skill you need to master.
- If your class expects you to read a textbook outside of class, read it before showing up to school. That way you have a general understanding of the topic and won’t feel as lost during class. In addition, hearing the teacher go over the material after you’ve already studied it will help you remember it better, and will also allow you to see any gaps in your knowledge.
- Take notes, and review them the day you took them. Whether it’s doing practice problems, rewriting your notes, or even just rereading them, reviewing will help you remember and understand what was covered in class that day. Also, research shows that studying your notes on the day you took them greatly improves retention.
- Practice, practice, practice! Especially for math and science-related courses, nothing makes for more effective studying than working through practice problems. Try a variety, to make sure that you will be ready for anything the test will throw at you.
- When studying for a test, find a good workspace free of clutter and distractions, and get to work. But instead of spending hours and hours in a row, take short study breaks to improve your concentration.
- Begin studying early, and sleep! (DON’T CRAM!) Many, many students find themselves cramming the night before an exam, but this is not optimal. When you learn something and then sleep, your brain strengthens those new memories, especially if it’s something you study over more than one day. If you stay up all night studying and cramming, not only is it tough to absorb that much information in one sitting, but your brain doesn’t get enough sleep to solidify those memories as well as it could.
- Learn what works for you. Some people work best in the morning, while others work better at night. Experiment and find out what is best for you. Remember, everyone is different, so no matter how much your friend swears the best way to study is by listening to heavy metal while doing practice problems at 3 am, this might not be ideal for you.
With these tips, you can be confident in your ability to learn new things and do well in your classes. So when you have a big test coming up, look over this blog, tell yourself you’ve got this, and begin studying. Good luck!
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